The Vancouver Island-based makers of an eco-friendly glow-stick are beaming right now.

Nyoka Design Labs was named as the winner in the startup category, at the 2020 Canadian Export Challenge (CXC) final showdown pitch competition.

The win netted co-founders Yamila Franco Pena and Paige Whitehead $5,000

Based in Courtenay British Columbia, Nyoka Design Labs is reimagining the traditional plastic glow-stick.

Nyoka uses permaculture design, and biotechnology to power their Light Wand – a bioluminescent, non-toxic, reusable glow-stick.

Franco Pena says that when they found out they won the challenge, they were ecstatic. 

“We are doing business differently and this comes with unique challenges – from creating new, sustainable alternatives to implementing a circular economy model,” Franco said.

“Our team is grateful and fired up to continue innovating, most importantly doing so with the intention to help our most important client – the Earth,” Franco Pena said.

Franco Pena added that they’re now preparing for a bigger crowdfunding campaign that will support us as we build a more sustainable future.

Kayla Isabelle, CEO of Startup Canada, said businesses like Nyoka Design Labs are “change makers” in their industries. 

“Through thoughtful innovation, Yamila Franco and her team have reimagined the traditional glow stick and are working to inspire the next generation of eco-conscious entrepreneurs,” Isabelle added. 

“The Startup Canada team is so thrilled to see Nyoka Design Labs take home the startup category grand prize of the third annual Canadian Export Challenge Final Showdown.”